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Jo and the Three Cashmerette Lenox Dresses

I started my first Lenox dress the day the pattern was released. I instantly fell in love with the waist definition and the lovely verticality of the front and back skirt pleats. The short sleeves were perfect for summertime while still offering coverage. The pockets were hidden yet functional. What was not to love? I am a short pear shaped woman, with C cup bust, 44 inch waist, and 54 inch hips. For my first attempt, I drafted a size 16 C cup top, onto a size 24 bottom. The sleeves were modified to be a bit longer and were a size 20 in front, and size 28 in back, to accommodate my large upper arms. It was a bit challenging, to alter the pattern without distorting the wonderful silhouette, but I got there, by distributing the added fullness throughout the bottom of the top pieces. I chose a directional mid weight cotton print for my first dress. Very soon, I was slipping into my first Lenox dress. Looking in the mirror it was love at first sight. I had found a way to show off my waist. Then, I sat down, and the love faded away. The waist was tight, and the buttons were strained. Not something I could wear out to dinner. I tried to think if I needed a standing only dress, and sadly the answer was no.

Undaunted, I quickly started on my second Lenox dress. This time I chose a mid weight linen. I measured my seated waist which was 3 inches larger, and re-drafted the pattern to accommodate the extra waist needed when seated. This resulted in a much more comfortable dress when seated, but the dress lost the lovely form fitting look when standing.

Discouraged, but not beaten, I was stumped until a gift certificate to my local fabric store arrived from my darling son. While shopping I came across a lightweight denim, with a bit of stretch, which soon became my third Lenox dress. To maintain some stretch in the waistband I used an interfacing made for stretch fabrics. I went back to my original drafted pattern, and success! The third dress had the tailored fit, and the stretch added the ease needed when seated.

A  few cautionary notes regarding the process follow. The first time cutting out the dress I unwisely ignored the cutting layout suggestions which resulted in me needing additional yardage to accommodate the long front button bands. Despite the detailed description in the pattern I sewed the button bands on backwards the first time. Using directional fabric, I also accidentally sewed the one of the arm bands on upside down. All these were easily fixed with a stitch ripper and some time. I added both length and girth to my sleeve as my upper arms required it. I added additional buttons as well, as I like the look, and being pear shaped, I do not need to undo the buttons, as the dress easily slips on and off over the head. I really love my Lenox dress. It helped me find my waistline, and it makes me feel absolutely wonderful while wearing it. I highly recommend Cashmerette’s Lenox dress pattern.

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